The White House on Monday brushed off the setback a federal judge dealt to President Obama’s signature health care reforms, predicting the president would ultimately prevail in the courts.
“Obviously, the administration argued on the other side of this case and disagrees with the ruling,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “Our belief is that when all the legal wrangling is done, this is something that will be upheld.”
U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson of Virginia struck down a key provision of the reform law that requires individuals to purchase health insurance or face a financial penalty.
The ruling was cheered by conservatives, civil libertarians and others who argued that forcing consumers to buy health insurance was an abuse of constitutional powers.
“This was inevitable because it’s absurd to argue that an individual mandate is constitutional,” said Michael Cannon, a health care policy expert at the Cato Institute. “It also reveals that everything the administration said about these being frivolous lawsuits was desperate political spin.”
The health care reforms, which Obama signed into law in March, has been assailed by critics, was never popular with voters and now faces numerous legal challenges that are likely to be settled by the Supreme Court.